Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Cape Fear River mile marker #1 is north of the Wilmington waterfront and this new bridge construction at mile 35.5 will affect few, if any, cruisers.
NORTH CAROLINA – CAPE FEAR RIVER – BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION
Mariners are advised to take caution and proceed slowly when approaching the construction site of the new highway bridge on the Wilmington Bypass, over the Cape Fear River, mile 35.5, in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties, NC. When completed, the Cape Fear River Bridge will have a vertical clearance of 64 feet at mean high water (MHW) and a horizontal clearance of 160 feet. Work barges and structures will be located along the sides of the waterway through December 2016. The channel shall remain open to navigation. Mariners should continue to monitor the Local Notice to Mariners for potential impacts to navigation. Chart 11537. LNM: 49/14
Cape Fear Marina and Bennett Brother Yachts, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, continues to provide excellent service as well as convenient access to the many attractions Wilmington has to offer, including two new restaurants: Catch, with award winning local Chef and Food TV celebrity, Keith Rhodes at 6623 Market Street, 910-799-3847 and Dock Street Oyster Bar, ranked #11 out of 409 picks for 2014 by Tripadvisor, 12 Dock Street, 910-762-2827.
Along with the friendly folks at Cape Fear Marina, such haute cuisine makes the trip up the Cape Fear River very alluring!
Patricia Bennett, President of Bennett Brothers Yachts, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, has been honored in this article by Ellen Honey in Marina Life Magazine.
Women in Boating
INTERVIEWS OF WOMEN IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY
Written by Ellen Honey
Once a rarity in the marine industry, women now often play a central role, whether that’s at the wheelhouse, in the galley, or at the helm of the entire operation. Some arrived at their position via family, others through serendipity or determination, but they are all passionate about their boating careers.
President, Bennett Brothers Yachts
Patricia assumed full responsibility at Bennett Brothers Yachts and Cape Fear Marina in Wilmington, North Carolina, when her husband and partner, Paul Bennett, passed away in 2007.
Tricia is used to preparing for hurricanes, but nothing could have prepared her for the recession that swept the industry in 2008. Conservative by nature, she was able to survive and grow, and is optimistic about the current uptick in the marine industry. Customers aren’t just doing necessary mechanical repairs but are now redoing their hulls. Recent projects include repainting a 72-foot Marlow Explorer and the Wilmington Fire Department fireboat.
Tricia has no plans to slow down. She labels herself a “demanding leader” who expects 110 percent from employees because, “I give 110 percent every day.” Two of her four children are interested in helping her further develop and enhance the marina and boatyard, located in one of the fastest growing areas in the country. No doubt, this energetic woman will keep pace with the growth of her surroundings.
For more on this story, go to: http://www.marinalife.com/magazine/403-women-in-boating
Our recommendation to Skipper Harllee is to call Southport Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located just west of the Cape Fear River along the northern banks of the Waterway hard by flashing daybeacon #2A. Their daily Weather and Navigation Briefings (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=144528) more than qualify them to provide needed advice and up-to-date information on the Cape Fear river. However, I’m sure Skipper Harllee would welcome your advice as well!
My husband and I have cruised on the Cape Fear River several times from Southport, NC to the Wilmington area in our 27 foot Ranger Tug (single screw) with no problems. But yesterday (Thursday, October 30) we faced confused seas and had difficulty with the run from Snows Cut south to Southport. The wind was only around 12 to 13 knots, but it was from an unusual direction, from the northwest. We tried to time our run for slack current, but obviously we miss calculated and had a following wind and we were going into the current. Very uncomfortable, rough chop and we were glad we finally made it to Southport. Since we plan more trips on the Cape Fear River, does anyone have any advice regarding how to time our trip to match the current and the wind? How do we get accurate information on the Cape Fear current? Thanks so much!
This reader is seeking advice about navigation Frying Pan Shoals from east to west at the large shoal off the tip of Cape Fear. If you have experience in those waters, let us hear from you!
Hi! I have a quick question that I am hoping that you can answer. We currently dock a 20 foot boat in Wrightsville Beach. We are looking to move to an older 45-50 foot Viking by July of 2015. At that time we may move to Southport area as our hailing port. I am originally form up north and still learning the NC waters. Is it possible to navigate across the FP shoals at the 3 mile line or do you need to be closer to the FP Shoals Slue or the territorial line. Looking at a chart is appears that the 3 mile line depth is a bit variable.
Thank you in advance for your time reviewing this note.
Thomas N. Denny
Here’s a good plug for Wilmington and for Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, located on the eastern banks of the northeast Cape Fear River, just north of the Isabel Holmes – Highway 133 bascule bridge, and only a hop, skip and jump from the downtown Wilmington waterfront.
When traveling in the region consider touching base with Wilmington NC.
Just a short passage up the Cape Fear River will provide a bounty of provision options. Bennett Brothers Yachts @ Cape Fear Marina can haul 70 tons and provide a mechanical second opinion that could make the run up the river worth while.
Consider the “Fun to Fuel Burn” formula when making a decision to visit.
Can’t put a dollar value on the fun you will have in Historical Wilmington.
See you soon!
Here’s a nice recommendation from Skipper Nickle for SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Bennett Brothers Yachts and Cape Fear Marina, located on the eastern banks of the northeast Cape Fear River, just north of the Isabel Holmes – Highway 133 bascule bridge, and only a hop, skip and jump from the downtown Wilmington waterfront.
I want to thank you again for getting me your contact at Bennett Brothers the other day. He was able to recommend a company in Florida that deals with marine hydraulics and just last week we received our refurbished cylinder back from them. Has not been re-installed, yet, but so far we are very happy with their service and we will commend that company. Here’s their website: http://www.rigginghydraulics.com and the contact name is Buk Miller.
Many thanks to you!!!!
The Isabel S. Holmes Bridge (Hwy133) lies north of the Wilmington Turning Basin in the northeast Cape Fear River in Wilmington, NC, a popular side trip for many Waterway cruisers. This dredging project encompasses a 5.5 nautical mile stretch south from the Highway 133 bridge to just south of the Wilmington Marine Center on the eastern shore of the Cape Fear River.
NC – CAFÉ FEAR RIVER-WILMINGTON – DREDGING
Mariners are advised that the Southern Dredging Company, Inc. will be conducting dredging in the Cape Fear River between Highway 133 Isabelle Homes Bridge [Isabel S. Holmes] to the Cape Fear Lighted Buoy 58 (LLNR 30840) commencing on or about August 15, 2014 and ending approximately January 31, 2015. Mariners are requested to stay clear of the dredge, pipelines, barges, derricks, buoys and operating wires about the dredge. Mariners are requested to exercise extreme caution when approaching, passing, and leaving the dredge areas and plants. The Southern Dredging Company, Inc. monitors VHF channels 13 and 16. Mariners are cautioned to strictly comply with the rules of the road when approaching, passing and leaving the area of operations. Dredging will be conducted twenty-four hours a day seven days a week. All vessels are requested to contact the dredge thirty minutes prior to expected time of passage and a slow no wake is requested of transiting vessels. Chart 11537 LNM: 32/14
Zimmerman Marine is part of the excellent facilities of Southport Marina, a much valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. These fine organizations lie just west of the Cape Fear River along the northern banks of the Waterway hard by flashing daybeacon #2A.
For more information, visit www.zimmermanmarine.com and www.southport-marina.com
Zimmerman Marine Service/Southport Marina in Southport NC, You guys are great! We were traveling North to BHI Fri the 18th on our 40 Silverton ACMY and lost our raw water exhaust pump on our port side about 6 miles south of Southport. I called SPM and they were quick to offer a courtesy dock for inspection. Then I called Zimmerman Marine, remembering they were on site. By the time we arrived there Steve, the Zimmerman tech was waiting for us on the dock. We quickly determined the raw pump had split, pumping sea water into the bilge overheating the exhaust port side. Steve went to check for a replacement part. There was not one available that day. So, on his on, Steve called around and found a good used part, drove way out of his way to get it, came back and installed it and we were on our way in about 3 hours. Steve saved our family weekend trip and was fantastic to work with. Great service is sometimes taken for granted. I did not want to miss this opportunity to give the staff at SPM and Steve from Zimmerman a big shout out THANK YOU! 5 star service and very reasonable price!
This new warning light wil be on the east side of the Lower Swash Channel Range of the Cape Fear River, near Marker #20 east of Southport, NC.
NC – CAPE FEAR RIVER – PRIVATE AID TO NAVIGATION ESTABLISHED
On or about 03 August, 2014 Cape Fear River Warning Light (LLNR 30477/40017) will be established in approximate position 33-55-16.690N 077-59-46.330W, displaying a Fl W 4s characteristic. The aid marks an unlit structure just outside the Cape Fear River Channel. Chart 11537 LNM: 30/14
The following article from BoatUS on how to choose a good boat yard is certainly helpful, and you can find among our SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS NET SPONSORS! two of the finest yards on the east coast. Sponsors that are helping to keep this service FREE to the cruising community. Those yards are, of course, Atlantic Yacht Basin in Chesapeake, VA and Bennett Brothers in Wilmington, NC.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 24, 2014 – While boatyards are busy, summer may be a better time to have repair work done on the boat. Why? The typical boatyard and shop warranty on labor is 90 days, giving boaters the time necessary to use the boat and ensure a correct repair. But where does a boater go to get repairs done right? Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) has some tips:
Use what your eyes are telling you: Sometimes it’s the little things that give you a sign that the yard you are entering isn’t the best. One BoatUS member took his boat to a repair facility and thought that the abundance of boats in the lot meant that the boatyard was popular. It wasn’t until after the yard started giving odd excuses for delays and then made him pay for hundreds of dollars of ineffective engine repairs before releasing the boat, did the member notice that few, if any, of the boats in the lot had been moved in years.
All recommendations aren’t the same: Online recommendations are a mish-mash of good and bad: more reliable ones have real names attached and specific details in postings. Fellow boaters are likely the best folks to recommend a yard, but go one step further: be sure that the repairs are similar to what you need. Another option is to ask a marine surveyor. These professionals are often knowledgeable about the quality of work in local repair yards, as long as they’re impartial and unaffiliated with any shop or boatyard. Look for a boat surveyor having SAMS or NAMS credentials as these surveyor associations require their members to be independent. Another good sign to see is a shop that follows American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) guidelines for repairs, which ensures that crucial safety standards are met. ABYC technicians also get specialized certification in a range of boat systems.
Dealerships may offer more, but don’t write off independents: There are certain benefits to taking an out-of-warranty boat or motor to a dealership, with the best training and equipment being at the top of the list. Dealerships also enjoy better parts connections. On the other hand, most well established independent repair facilities also produce high quality work – especially those run by former or current factory-trained technicians. And unlike a dealership, they must compete on repair business alone and their prices are usually lower.
Look for shops that specialize: Boats vary in type, size and complexity and so do repair facilities. Don’t bring a 34-foot trawler for repairs to a shop that mostly works on trailer boats, and don’t expect the guy living in a van down by the river to fix your high-tech outboard.
“Always check around first before doing business,” said BoatUS Director of Consumer Affairs Charles Fort. “Many boaters only have the summer to enjoy their boats, so any problems could lead to a premature end of the boating season.”
This shortcut that runs northwest from the western end of Snows Cut to the Wilmington bound Cape Fear River has been a temptation and a hazard for several years, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=105372. Skipper Matthews did not leave all his good sense behind, because he went slowly, kept an eye on the depthfinder, was able to do a 180 and escape the shoal. It’s a tough rule to remember, but all charted channels are not necessarily navigable.
I left good sense behind and tried this channel Memorial Day weekend 2014. It dropped to 3 foot fast! Was lucky enough to turn around and make it back to deep water after a good barnacle scraping. I draw 3-1/2 feet.
The April 2014 has an excellent article about 2013 Marina of the Year, SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Southport Marina in Southport, NC.
For the publication, go to:
Cruising with our pre-teen daughters in a small trawler with limited refrigeration meant that ice cream was the most sought after commodity whenever we went ashore, regardless the time of day. I wish we had had the recommendation offered by Skipper Susan Landry, co-owner of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com)
After you come down the Cape Fear River, preferably not in rolling, breaking waves with wind and current opposed, and you pull into the Provision Company for some nice fresh seafood, why not top off your meal with, wait for it, ice cream! All you have to do is walk out the front door of the restaurant, which by the way has great food and service, turn left and you will see ICE CREAM, in big letters at Flava’s. You can’t miss it. This day’s selections would be Rocky Road for the hubby (chocolate all the way) and Birthday Cake for me. I have a confession to make. I really have a thing for Birthday Cake ice cream. You get the painfully sweet icing part, usually blue, little bits of yummy cake and, if you are lucky, some crunchy bits of brightly colored white chocolate. My granddaughter and I share this passion. I tried their Birthday Cake and it was good. A nice end to a seafood meal.
The marked entry channel to Deep Point Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – lies northwest of Cape Fear River/AICW marker #20. And this is certainly not the first time we’ve received confirmation of the fine quality of work by Bennett Brothers Yachts, also A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
We’ve stopped here before. liked it, and will stop again. The dockmasters are very helpful and gave us good info on highly qualified assistance we needed from Bennett Brothers. Also, very nice people live here on their boats. We’ll be back.
Here’s a message from the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s NEWEST SPONSOR, Carolina Yacht Care, located in Southport, NC. Wow, talk about full services for your vessel, AND your crew, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. For a worry free visit to Southport’s great marinas or anchorages, click Carolina Yacht Care’s sponsorship banner, and leave all your port of call responsibilities to these good people!
On their return in June, they considered some of the services along their route that helped make their trip memorable. They analyzed those stops where they were inclined to spend a few days, rather than just push through, and came up with a list of services they believe are most helpful to cruisers.
The services include: a shuttle, provisioning, packing and shipping, mail receipt, a single, unbiased point of contact for recommending quality local contractors and responding to any other unique needs of transients.
Founded as the town of Smithville in 1792, Southport is a convenient stop and a warm and welcoming historic city and worth staying an extra day or two to explore. Realizing that none of these services have been available in Southport, and that some cruisers might be skipping the city or just staying overnight, they decided to start Carolina Yacht Care to meet cruisers needs. They have a cruisers perspective which means they understand that, as a service business, they must be dependable and flexible to cruiser’s schedules and myriad other complexities of being a transient. For example, they started running a scheduled shuttle from Deep Point and Southport Marinas (with more to follow) but have also made the shuttle available on an as needed basis. Cruisers needing provisions can order ahead of time and then let them know where to deliver once they arrive. They will meet you at your boat to deliver or help pack up parts and get them shipped.
Of course, consider them a wonderful resource of free local knowledge. Their love of Southport and enjoyment in meeting fellow cruisers will help make your stay memorable.
Says Hank, “We will do whatever we can to help our fellow cruiser’s relax and enjoy beautiful Southport. If they don’t have the time to spend in Southport, we are there to maximize their short stays as well.”
This is the kind of service every significant port of call should have. Really helps you enjoy all a destination has to offer. Looking forward to return visit to Southport. Hank & Lisa being well traveled cruisers themselves, know just what is needed by fellow skippers & crew !!!
SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Southport Marina has just introduced a new video showcasing this fine marina’s facilities and services. It is very definitely worth a look.
Southport Marina is located in the heart of the old river village of the same name. In the 1950′s and early 60′s, Southport was my boyhood summer home aboard. I have nothing but the warmest memories of my time spent on the docks of the old Southport harbor. May you too be so fortunate.
Check out the new video at:
Located along the easterly banks of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, just west of the high-rise Hilton hotel, the City Docks have long been a popular side trip for many Waterway cruisers.
We spent Labor Day weekend here (our third visit). Still love downtown Wilmington. It’s so alive with people and places! Went to the free Friday night concert and then the Farmer’s Market on Saturday. The only negative with the area is that there is no grocery store within walking distance so make sure you’re stocked up before you get here. There are two negatives about the Cape Fear River. 1) Lots of large logs always floating down the river that get jammed under your swim platform or between your boat and the dock. We ended up putting out large ball fenders to make more space. 2) Repeatedly being seriously waked by all sized boats and even jet skis. I ended up calling one of the tour boat companies to complain (nicely, of course) and they did slow down quite a bit for the remainder of our visit. But I really wish the city or someone would look into making the area near the docks a no wake zone.
Paula Spence, M/Y Sea Eagle
The crew of the Sea Eagle are experienced cruisers who, as narrated below, let down their guard at the end of an otherwise pleasant visit to the City Docks of Wilmington, NC, which is a longtime popular side trip for many Waterway cruisers. The City Docks are located along the easterly banks of the Cape Fear River in downtown Wilmington, just west of the high-rise Hilton hotel.
Last night someone boarded our boat while we were sleeping. The person tried to take our TV but it was bolted down. He quickly grabbed the first two things he saw that he could carry – my husband’s laptop and (of all things) a small fan. We never heard a thing and didn’t discover the theft until 5:45 a.m. when Jim got up and found the saloon door wide open. We’re are very grateful that nothing else was taken and even more so that no one (including the bad guy) was hurt or worse. So how did this happen? We certainly have to take some responsibility for it. We were tired and were focused on our plans to leave in the morning instead of being in the present. Either one of two simple things would probably have prevented this. We have a very simple motion detector “driveway” alarm which we had set every night except last night. We also have a procedure for verifying that the door is locked which we had done every night except last night. We let ourselves get too comfortable with a place we’ve stayed at three times but have learned a very valuable lesson and actually got off pretty easy. Bottom line – if you stay here or at any unsecured dock, be vigilant with your security measures!
Paula aboard m/v Sea Eagle
My Friends who stayed here three years ago had the same experience. I had to check with them today after reading your posting. Someone came aboard and made a quick grab of a TV set before they woke up. Be cautious on Wilmington docks. About 10 blocks away is a rather poor neighborhood with a break-in problem.